Baseball + steroids: the ugly truth

CNN's bulletin yesterday about the Mitchell Report carried this message:

-- MLB steroid report: Use widespread, includes biggest stars

Really? I mean, c'mon. MLB basically turned the other way when juicers fueled the post-strike home run boom, bringing fans back to the ball park, in the '90s. Juicing the Game, by former Boston Herald columnist Howard Bryant, for one, offers an incisive look at baseball in the steroids era.


Is an honest accounting of baseball and steroids better late than never? Yes, but it's an inherently sticky process.


As Dan Kennedy notes,

Shouldn't we make a moral distinction between Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, who've been accused of taking steroids in order to throw harder and hit the ball farther, and Andy Pettitte and Mo Vaughn, who alleged took human growth hormone so they'd be able to bounce back from injuries more quickly? It seems to me that the former compromised the integrity of the game, whereas the latter was merely dangerous and stupid.

Here's a PDF of the Mitchell report. Search for Pettitte's and Vaughn's names and you'll see what I mean.

As a younger person, N4N, went into a long-term alienation from my prior love of baseball, because of greed, free agency, and soaring salaries. I came back about five years ago --when the salaries were a hell of a lot higher -- because playing softball reconnected me with my previous love of the game.


It's not hard to find fault with Major League Baseball, and the steroids era represents a definite low point. Yet for many of us who are hooked on the game, a certain conditional love has crept into our DNA, leaving us unwilling to walk away.

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